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Publication numberUS7728107 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 11/795,278
PCT numberPCT/US2006/002644
Publication dateJun 1, 2010
Filing dateJan 13, 2006
Priority dateJan 14, 2005
Fee statusPaid
Also published asUS20080131913, WO2006076741A2, WO2006076741A3
Publication number11795278, 795278, PCT/2006/2644, PCT/US/2006/002644, PCT/US/2006/02644, PCT/US/6/002644, PCT/US/6/02644, PCT/US2006/002644, PCT/US2006/02644, PCT/US2006002644, PCT/US200602644, PCT/US6/002644, PCT/US6/02644, PCT/US6002644, PCT/US602644, US 7728107 B2, US 7728107B2, US-B2-7728107, US7728107 B2, US7728107B2
InventorsPascal Bonaventure, Changlu Liu, Timothy W. Lovenberg, Diane Nepomuceno
Original AssigneeJanssen Pharmaceutica N.V.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Canine 5-hydroxytryptamine 2A and 2B receptor
US 7728107 B2
Abstract
Canine 5-hydroxytryptamine 2 receptor materials are described, including polypeptides corresponding to SEQ ID NOs.:8 and 10 and polynucleotides expressing them corresponding to SEQ ID NOs.:7 and 9. Such materials are useful as reagents in drug screening assays to identify compounds having 5-HT2 receptor-modulating activity.
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Claims(1)
1. An isolated biologically active canine 5-hydroxytryptamine 2 receptor polypeptide having an amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO.:8.
Description

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/644,423, filed Jan. 14, 2005.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to canine 5-hydroxytryptamine 2A and 5-hydroxytryptamine 2B (5-HT2A and 5-HT2B, respectively) receptor materials, including polypeptides and polynucleotides encoding such polypeptides, and associated vectors and recombinant host cells. The invention also relates to methods of using such materials to assay compounds for their 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B modulating activity.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The physiological actions of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) are mediated by 14 different receptor subtypes, all but one belonging to the class of G-protein coupled receptors (Hoyer et al., 2002, Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 71:533-554). These receptors are divided into seven distinct classes (5-HT1 to 5-HT7) largely on the basis of their structural and functional characteristics. The elucidation of the molecular, pharmacological, and physiological characterization of these receptors helps determine the roles of these receptors and their utilities as therapeutic targets.

The 5-HT2 receptor family comprises three receptor subtypes: 5-HT2A, 5-HT2B and 5-HT2C receptors (for a recent review, see Leysen et al., 2004, Curr Drug Target CNS Neurol Disord, 3:11-26). The 5-HT2 receptors are linked to the Gq family of G-proteins and subsequent activation of phospholipase C, induction of phosphoinositide metabolism and an increase in intracellular calcium concentration (Foguet, et al., 1992, Embo J, 11:3481-3487; Jerman et al., 2001, Eur J Pharmacol, 414:23-30; Porter, 1999, Br J Pharmacol, 128:13-20; Roth et al., 1998, Pharmacology & Therapeutics 79:231-257). Both 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptors are found in the central nervous system and periphery, whereas 5-HT2C is restricted to the central nervous system (Hoyer et al., 2002, Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 71:533-554; Leysen, J. E., 2004, Curr Drug Target CNS Neurol Disord 3:11-26).

The 5-HT2A receptors mediate contractile responses in vascular smooth muscle (Bhatnagar et al., 2004, J Biol Chem, 279 (33):34614-34623; Cohen et al., 1981, J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 218:421-425). In addition, platelet aggregation and increased capillary permeability following exposure to 5-HT have been attributed to 5-HT2A receptor-mediated functions (Bhatnagar et al., 2004, J Biol Chem, 279 (33):34614-34623; de Chaffoy de Courcelles at al., 1985, J Biol Chem 260:7603-7608; Hall et al., 2000, Synapse 38:421-431). Centrally, 5-HT2A receptors are principally located in cortex, claustrum, basal ganglia and in several brain stem nuclei (Fonseca et al., 2001, Brain Res Mol Brain Res, 89:11-19). 5-HT2A receptors in the medial nucleus of the tractus solitarius play a role in 5-HT-induced hypotension and bradycardia (Huang et al., 2003, J Comp Neurol, 455:270-280). 5-HT2A receptor activation also stimulates hormone secretion, e.g. ACTH, corticosterone, oxytocin, renin and prolactin secretion (Van de Kar et al., 2001, J Neurosci, 21:3572-3579). Moreover, 5-HT2A receptor agonists mediate certain behavioral, emotional, and cognitive syndromes and disorders (Bhatnagar et al., 2004, J Biol Chem, 279 (33):34614-34623). Head twitching in rat and mice can be inhibited with selective 5-HT2A antagonists (Schreiber et al., 1995, J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 273:101-112), and certain antipsychotics and antidepressant drugs are 5-HT2A antagonists (Roth et al., 1998, Pharmacology & Therapeutics 79:231-257).

Activation of the 5-HT2B receptor leads to fundic smooth muscle contraction (Foguet, et al., 1992, Embo J, 11:3481-3487; Kursar et al., 1992, Mol Pharmacol 42, 549-557). The 5-HT2B receptor is found throughout the human gastrointestinal tract where it mediates contractile responses. The 5-HT2B receptor has also been detected in discrete nuclei (Bonaventure et al., 2002, Brain Res 943:38-47; Duxon et al., 1997). Stimulation of 5-HT2B receptors on endothelial cells of the cerebral arteries by 5-HT causes release of nitric oxide, leading to vascular relaxation (Schmuck et al., 1996, Eur J Neurosci, 8:959-967). Hence, stimulation of 5-HT2B receptors on meningial blood vessels could be a trigger for migraine, perhaps explaining the reported prophylactic effect of 5-HT2 receptor antagonists (Schmuck et al., 1996, Eur J Neurosci, 8:959-967). 5-HT2B receptor activation may also be involved in the development of cardiac valvulopathy associated with norfenfluramine and other serotonergic medication (Fitzgerald et al., 1999, J Neurochem, 72:2127-2134).

The 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptor subtypes have been cloned from several species. The 5-HT2A receptors from hamster, human, monkey, mouse, pig, rat and sheep all have a similar length of 471 amino acids; the 5-HT2B receptors from human, mouse and rat have a length of 481, 504 and 460 amino acids, respectively (for review, see Kroeze et al., 2002, Curr Top Med Chem, 2:507-528). Each of the genes for the 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptors possesses three exons. Species differences in the binding of certain ligands between human and rat 5-HT2A receptors have been reported; for instance, ergolines appeared to display higher affinity for the rat than for the human receptor (Pazos et al., 1984, Eur J Pharmacol, 106:539-546). This is due to an amino acid variation (S242A) in the fifth transmembrane domain between the human (242S) and rat (242Ala) 5-HT2A receptor (Roth et al., 1998, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 79:231-257). Additionally, differences in ligand binding between the human and rat 5-HT2B receptors have been reported, with ergolines and certain atypical antipsychotics displaying higher affinity for the human 5-HT2B receptor (Wainscott et al., 1996, J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 276:720-727).

The actions of 5-HT and 5-HT mimetics as they relate to many of the functions, syndromes, and disorders mentioned above have been studied in canine (e.g., see Bush, 1987, J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 240:674-682; Prins et al., 2001, Br J Pharmacol, 134:1351-1359; Shoji et al., 1990, Eur J Pharmacol, 190:247-250). The canine is also used to assess physiological liabilities, such as cardiovascular liabilities, of early drug candidates. There is a need to identify canine 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptors for use in interpreting data obtained from studies in canine, and in obtaining activity and binding affinity values for compounds in order to assay for ones that complex with or otherwise modulate canine 5-HT2A or 5-HT2B receptors.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The canine 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptor subtypes have now been identified and cloned, and their pharmacological characteristics have been compared to the human 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptor homologues.

In one general aspect, the invention is directed to isolated biologically active canine 5-hydroxytryptamine 2 receptor polypeptides having an amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO.:8 or SEQ ID NO.:10 or functional variants thereof. Preferably, the polypeptides have an amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO.:8 or SEQ ID NO.:10.

Another general aspect of the invention relates to isolated polynucleotides encoding the above-described 5-hydroxytryptamine 2 receptor polypeptides. Thus, the invention is directed to a polynucleotide encoding a canine 5-hydroxytryptamine 2 receptor polypeptide, where the polynucleotide has a sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO.:7 or SEQ ID NO.:9 or a functional variant thereof. Preferably, the polynucleotide has a nucleic acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO.:7 or SEQ ID NO.:9.

In other general aspects, the invention is directed to vectors each comprising one of the polynucleotides as described above operably linked to a promoter element that produces the 5-hydroxytryptamine 2 receptor RNA or expresses the canine 5-hydroxytryptamine 2 receptor polypeptide encoded by the polynucleotide in a transfected host cell.

In additional general aspects, the invention is directed to recombinant host cells transfected with one of the vectors as described above.

In further general aspects, the invention pertains to methods for identifying a compound that modulates an activity of a biologically active canine 5-hydroxytryptamine 2 receptor or a functional variant thereof. One such method comprises: (a) contacting a test sample comprising a compound with an assay reagent comprising the receptor and a 5-hydroxytryptamine 2 receptor ligand; (b) determining the biological activity of the receptor after performing step (a); and (c) comparing the biological activity determined in step (b) with a control measurement obtained by contacting a control sample not containing the compound with the assay reagent. Another such method comprises: (a) contacting a biologically active canine 5-hydroxytryptamine 2 receptor with a test compound and with a labeled ligand for the receptor; (b) determining the amount of the labeled ligand that complexes with the receptor; and (c) comparing the amount determined in step (b) with a control measurement obtained by contacting the receptor with the labeled ligand in the absence of the test compound. An additional method is a whole cell assay for detecting modulation of the canine 5-hydroxytryptamine 2 receptor by steps comprising: (a) contacting the compound and a cell that contains biologically active 5-hydroxytryptamine 2 receptor or a variant thereof; and (b) measuring for change in the cell in response to modified receptor function by the compound. In preferred embodiments of such methods, the 5-hydroxytryptamine 2 receptor material used in the assay is a component of a biological sample derived from a dog.

Other aspects and features of the invention will be apparent from the detailed description below with reference to the drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1A-1G provide an amino acid sequence comparison of human and dog 5-HT2A receptors. The consensus sequence is also shown. The putative seven transmembrane domains are indicated with solid lines.

FIGS. 2A-2G provide an amino acid sequence comparison of human and dog 5-HT2B receptors. The consensus sequence is also shown. The putative seven transmembrane domains are indicated with solid lines.

FIGS. 3A and 3B illustrate saturation binding isotherms of [3H]5-HT binding to membranes expressing recombinant canine 5-HT2A and 5-HT2A receptors. FIG. 3A shows a saturation binding isotherm of [3H]5-HT binding to membranes isolated from COS-7 cells transfected with canine 5-HT2A receptor. FIG. 3B shows a saturation binding isotherm of [3H]5-HT binding to membranes isolated from COS-7 cells transfected with canine 5-HT2B receptor. The non-specific binding was determined in the presence of 1 μM risperidone for both 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptors. Data points represent specific binding calculated by subtracting non-specific binding from total binding. Inset: Scatchard plot of the same data. The derived KD and Bmax values are listed in Table 1. Data are mean±S.E.M.

FIGS. 4A-4D show regression analyses of binding affinity constants (pKi values) of serotonergic ligands (see Table 2) at the cloned canine 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptor with human 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptors. FIG. 4A shows a comparison of canine 5-HT2A and human 5-HT2A binding data. FIG. 4B shows a comparison of canine 5-HT2B and human 5-HT2B binding data. FIG. 4C shows a comparison of human 5-HT2A and human 5-HT2B binding data. FIG. 4D shows a comparison of canine 5-HT2A and canine 5-HT2B binding data. Correlation coefficient (r2) and P values are given.

FIGS. 5A and 5B depict Ca2+ concentration response curves of 5-HT at human and canine 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptors, respectively.

FIG. 6 depicts the detection of canine 5-HT2A and c5-HT2B receptor mRNA in various canine tissues by quantitative RT-PCR. Quantitative PCR analyses were performed to measure the relative abundance of canine 5-HT2A and canine 5-HT2B receptor mRNA from 9 different canine tissues, respectively. In parallel, PCR measurements for beta actin gene expression in different tissues served as internal controls. The relative canine 5-HT2A and canine 5-HT2B mRNA expression levels were normalized to the actin expression levels for each tissue, respectively.

FIG. 7 provides a nucleotide sequence comparison between the human and canine 5-HT2B cDNA. The 5-nucleotide deletion in canine 5-HT2B cDNA is depicted with dashes. The numbers indicate the nucleotide position in cDNA starting with the translation starting codon (ATG). The putative translation stop codons for the human and canine 5-HT2B receptors are underlined.

FIG. 8 provides a C-terminal amino acid sequence comparison among human, mouse, rat, chicken, frog, puffer fish, and zebra fish 5-HT2B receptor proteins. The numbers indicate the amino acid position corresponding to the human 5-HT2B receptor.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION AND ITS PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

For the sake of brevity, the disclosures of all publications cited herein are incorporated by reference. Unless defined otherwise herein or as apparent from the context, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as used in the art.

The following are abbreviations that are at times used in this specification: 5-HT=5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT2=5-HT receptor subtype 2 member, e.g., 5-HT2A receptor or 5-HT2B receptor; 5-HT2A=5-HT 2A receptor; 5-HT2B=5-HT 2B receptor; bp=base pair; cpm=counts per minute; cAMP=cyclic adenosine monophosphate; cDNA=complementary DNA; ELISA=Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay; G protein=GTP-binding protein; GTP=guanosine 5′-triphosphate; FLIPR=fluorometric imaging plate reader; kb=kilobase (1000 base pairs); kDa=kilodalton; nt=nucleotide; PAGE=polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; PCR=polymerase chain reaction.

The terms “including,” “comprising” and “containing” are used herein in their open, non-limiting sense.

As summarized above, certain general aspects of the invention relate to isolated biologically active canine 5-hydroxytryptamine 2A and 5-hydroxytryptamine 2B receptor polypeptides, polynucleotides that encode them, expression vectors comprising such polynucleotides, and recombinant host cells transfected or transformed by such vectors.

“Polypeptide” refers to a peptidic molecule comprising two or more amino acids joined to each other in a chain by peptide bonds. As used herein, the term refers both to short chains, which are also referred to in the art as, e.g., peptides, oligopeptides and oligomers, and to longer chains, which are often referred to in the art as proteins, of which there are many types. The term refers to linear structures as well as semi-linear and non-linear structures, such as branched and circular structures.

A “biologically active” polypeptide or polynucleotide refers to a molecule that is active as determined in vivo or in vitro according to standard or conventional or accepted techniques. Such activities can be a direct activity, such as an association with or an enzymatic activity on a second protein, or an indirect activity, such as a cellular signaling activity mediated by interaction of the protein with a second protein. For example, an illustrative biological activity of a 5-HT2 receptor ligand, such as 5-hydroxytryptamine, is its ability to bind or form a complex with either a 5-HT2 receptor and initiate one or more signal transduction events conducted thereby. An exemplary biological activity of a canine 5-HT2 receptor is that, upon binding to a ligand for the receptor, it activates a chain of events that alters the concentration of intracellular signaling molecules (second messenger molecules), such as cyclic AMP and calcium via activating G-protein, which has a high affinity to GTP. These intracellular signaling molecules in turn alter the physiology and behavior of the cell and animal. Such alterations in physiology can also be determined in vivo or in vitro according to known techniques, and can include, for example: alterations in hormone production, secretion, or activity, e.g., ACTH, corticosterone, oxytocin, renin, or prolactin production, secretion, or activity (Van de Kar et al., 2001, J Neurosci, 21(10):3572-3579; Saydoff et al., 1991, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 257:95-99; Rittenhouse et al., 1994, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 271:1647-1655; Rittenhouse et al., 1991, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 259:58-65); alterations in smooth muscle contractility or relaxation, e.g., gastrointestinal tract contractility, vascular contractility or relaxation, and capillary permeability (Cohen et al., 1981, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 218:421-425; Adner et al., 2002, Br. J. Pharmacol., 137(7):971-982; 2004; Owaga et al., 2004, Vascul. Pharmacol., 41(1):7-13; Boehme et al., 2004, J Immunol, 2004, 173(6):3599-3603; Schmuck et al., 1996, Eur. J. Neurosci., 8:959-967; de Chaffoy de Courcelles et al., 1985, J. Biol. Chem., 260:7603-7608; Cazzola et al., 1992, Immunopharmacology, 23:21-28; and Fitzgerald et al., 1999, J. Neurochem., 72:2127-2134; alterations in platelet aggregation (de Chaffoy de Courcelles et al., 1985, J. Biol. Chem., 260:7603-7608); or alterations in mental, emotional, or behavioral status (Kantor et al., Br. J. Pharmacol., 2004, 142(8):1332-1342; Massou et al., 1997, Psychopharmacology (Berl), 133:99-101; Aubert et al., 2000, Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord., 24:920-924; Du, 2000, Am. J. Med. Genet., 96:56-60; Meltzer, 1999, Neuropsychopharmacology, 21:106 S-115S; Meyer et al., 1999, Psychopharmacology (Berl), 144:279-281; Roth et al., 1998, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 79:231-257; Schreiber et al., 1995, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 273:101-112; Schechter et al., 1988, Psychopharmacology (Berl) 94:342-346; Sorensen et al., 1993, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 266:684-691).

A “functional variant” of a polypeptide refers to a post-translationally modified form, homolog, or variant of a designated polypeptide having essentially the same biological activity as the designated one. With respect to the canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptides described herein, functional variants may be routinely determined by making one or more post-translational modifications to a polypeptide and testing the biological activity of the resulting variant. See, e.g., Wold, “Posttranslational Protein Modifications: Perspectives and Prospects,” pp. 1-12 in POSTTRANSLATIONAL COVALENT MODIFICATION OF PROTEINS, Johnson (ed.), Academic Press, New York (1983). For instance, polypeptides can be post-translationally modified, including via natural processing or through human manipulation, which may result in variants that are not entirely linear. To further illustrate, during post-translational modification of the peptide a methionine residue at the NH2-terminus may be deleted. Accordingly, the methionine-containing and the methionine-less amino terminal variants of a protein may be prepared.

An “isolated” polypeptide is a polypeptide substantially free of or separated from cellular material or other contaminating proteins when the polypeptide is obtained from the cell or tissue source from which the polypeptide is produced, or substantially free of chemical precursors or other chemicals when the polypeptide is chemically synthesized (e.g., purified). For example, protein that is substantially free of cellular material may include preparations of protein having less than about 30%, or preferably 20%, or more preferably 10%, or even more preferably 5%, or yet more preferably 1% (by dry weight), of contaminating proteins.

In preferred embodiments, the isolated polypeptide is substantially pure. Thus, when the protein or biologically active portion thereof is recombinantly produced, it is substantially free of culture medium, e.g., culture medium representing less than about 20%, or more preferably 10%, or even more preferably 5%, or yet more preferably 1%, of the volume of the protein preparation. When the protein is produced by chemical synthesis, it is substantially free of chemical precursors or other chemicals, i.e., it is separated from chemical precursors or other chemicals that are involved in the synthesis of the protein. Accordingly such preparations of the polypeptide have less than about 30%, or preferably 20%, or more preferably 10%, or even more preferably 5%, or yet more preferably 1% (by dry weight), of chemical precursors or compounds other than the polypeptide of interest.

Isolated polypeptides can have several different physical forms. The isolated polypeptide can exist as a full-length nascent or unprocessed polypeptide, or as partially processed polypeptides or combinations of processed polypeptides. The full-length nascent polypeptide can be post-translationally modified by specific proteolytic cleavage events that result in the formation of fragments of the full-length nascent polypeptide. A fragment, or physical association of fragments, can have the biological activity associated with the full-length polypeptide; of course, the degree of biological activity associated with individual fragments can vary.

Polypeptides of the invention may be prepared using polynucleotides of the invention. The term “polynucleotide” as used herein refers to a molecule comprised of one or more nucleotides, i.e., ribonucleotides, deoxyribonucleotides, or both. The term includes monomers and polymers of ribonucleotides and deoxyribonucleotides, with the ribonucleotides and/or deoxyribonucleotides being bound together, in the case of the polymers, via 5′ to 3′ linkages. The ribonucleotide and deoxyribonucleotide polymers may be single- or double-stranded. However, linkages may include any of the linkages known in the art, including, for example, nucleic acids comprising 5′ to 3′ linkages. The nucleotides may be naturally occurring or may be synthetically produced analogs that are capable of forming base-pair relationships with naturally occurring base pairs. Examples of non-naturally occurring bases that are capable of forming base-pairing relationships include aza and deaza pyrimidine analogs, aza and deaza purine analogs, and other heterocyclic base analogs, wherein one or more of the carbon and nitrogen atoms of the pyrimidine rings have been substituted by heteroatoms, e.g., oxygen, sulfur, selenium, phosphorus, and the like.

An “isolated” polynucleotide is one that is substantially separated from or free of nucleic acid molecules with differing nucleic acid sequences. Embodiments of the isolated polynucleotide molecule of the invention include cDNA, genomic DNA and RNA and antisense RNA. Preferred polynucleotides are obtained from biological samples obtained from a dog, such as from blood samples or tissue specimens.

The invention also embraces polymorphisms of a specified polynucleotide and polypeptides encoded thereby. “Polymorphism” refers to a set of genetic variants at a particular genetic locus among individuals in a population.

Canine 5-HT2 receptor polynucleotides may be inserted into expression vectors for introduction of such polynucleotides into host cells for the expression, i.e., production of the encoded mRNA or protein, of the canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptides encoded by such polynucleotides in such host cells. The expressed canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptides from the resulting recombinant host cells are isolated for various uses in vitro, or serve to modulate various other in vivo activities within such recombinant host cells.

The term “vector” refers to a nucleic acid molecule capable of transporting another nucleic acid to which it has been linked. One type of vector is a plasmid, which refers to a circular double-stranded DNA loop into which additional DNA segments can be inserted. Another type of vector is a viral vector wherein additional DNA segments can be inserted. Certain vectors are capable of autonomous replication in a host cell into which they are introduced (e.g., bacterial vectors having a bacterial origin of replication and episomal mammalian vectors). Other vectors (e.g., non-episomal mammalian vectors) are integrated into the genome of a host cell upon introduction into the host cell, and thereby are replicated along with the host genome. Moreover, certain vectors—expression vectors—are capable of directing the expression of genes to which they are operably linked. Vectors of utility in recombinant DNA techniques may be in the form of plasmids. Alternatively, other forms of vectors, such as viral vectors (e.g., replication defective retroviruses, adenoviruses and adeno-associated viruses), which serve equivalent functions, may be used.

A “host cell” refers to a cell that contains a DNA molecule either on a vector or integrated into a cell chromosome. A host cell can be either a native host cell that contains the DNA molecule endogenously or a recombinant host cell.

One example of a host cell is a recombinant host cell, which is a cell that has been transformed or transfected by an exogenous DNA sequence. A cell has been transformed by exogenous DNA when such exogenous DNA has been introduced inside the cell membrane. Exogenous DNA may or may not be integrated (covalently linked) into chromosomal DNA making up the genome of the cell. In prokaryotes and yeasts, for example, the exogenous DNA may be maintained on an episomal element, such as a plasmid. With respect to eukaryotic cells, a stably transformed or transfected cell is one in which the exogenous DNA has become integrated into the chromosome so that it is inherited by daughter cells through chromosome replication. This stability is demonstrated by the ability of the eukaryotic cell to establish cell lines or clones comprised of a population of daughter cells containing the exogenous DNA. A “clone” is a population of cells derived from a single cell or common ancestor by mitosis. A “cell line” is a clone of a primary cell that is capable of stable growth in vitro for many generations.

Recombinant host cells may be prokaryotic or eukaryotic, including bacteria such as E. coli, fungal cells such as yeast, mammalian cells such as cell lines of human, bovine, porcine, monkey and rodent origin, and insect cells such as Drosophila and silkworm derived cell lines. A recombinant host cell refers not only to the particular subject cell, but also to the progeny or potential progeny of such a cell. Because certain modifications can occur in succeeding generations due to either mutation or environmental influences, such progeny may not be identical to the parent cell, but are still intended to be included within the scope of the term.

Vectors of the present invention also include specifically designed expression systems that allow the shuttling of DNA between hosts, such as bacteria-yeast or bacteria-animal cells or bacteria-fungal cells or bacteria-invertebrate cells. Numerous cloning vectors are known in the art and the selection of an appropriate cloning vector is within the purview of the artisan. For other suitable expression systems for both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, see e.g., chapters 16 and 17 of Maniatis et al., Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, Second Edition (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., 1989).

To obtain high level expression of a cloned gene or nucleic acid, such as a cDNA encoding a canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptide, a canine 5-HT2 receptor sequence is preferably subcloned into an expression vector that contains a strong promoter to direct transcription, a transcription/translation terminator, and, if for a nucleic acid encoding a protein, a ribosome binding site for translational initiation. Suitable bacterial promoters are known in the art and are described, e.g., by Sambrook et al., Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, Third Edition, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., 2001, and “Current Protocols in Molecular Biology”, Ausubel et al. (eds.), Greene Publishing Association and John Wiley Interscience, New York, 1992. Bacterial expression systems for expressing the CCK1 proteins disclosed in the present invention are available in, e.g., E. coli, Bacillus sp., and Salmonella (Palva et al., 1983, Gene, 22:229-235; Mosbach et al., 1983, Nature, 302:543-545). Kits for such expression systems are commercially available. Eukaryotic expression systems for mammalian cells, yeast, and insect cells are known in the art and are also commercially available. In exemplary embodiments, the eukaryotic expression vector is an adenoviral vector, an adeno-associated vector, or a retroviral vector.

A “promoter” is a regulatory sequence of DNA that is involved in the binding of RNA polymerase to initiate transcription of a gene. Promoters are often upstream (i.e., 5′ to) the transcription initiation site of the gene. A “gene” is a segment of DNA involved in producing a peptide, polypeptide, or protein, including the coding region, non-coding regions preceding (5′UTR) and following (3′UTR) coding region, as well as intervening non-coding sequences (introns) between individual coding segments (exons). “Coding” refers to the specification of particular amino acids or termination signals in three-base triplets (codons) of DNA or mRNA.

The promoter used to direct expression of a heterologous canine 5-HT2 receptor-encoding polynucleotide may be routinely selected to suit the particular application. The promoter is optionally positioned about the same distance from the heterologous transcription start site as it is from the transcription start site in its natural setting. As will be apparent to the artisan, however, some variation in this distance can be accommodated without loss of promoter function.

In addition to the promoter, the expression vector may contain a transcription unit or expression cassette that contains all the additional elements required for the expression of the canine 5-HT2 receptor-encoding polynucleotide in host cells. An exemplary expression cassette contains a promoter operably linked to the polynucleotide sequence encoding a canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptide, and signals required for efficient polyadenylation of the transcript, ribosome binding sites, and translation termination. The polynucleotide sequence encoding a canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptide may be linked to a cleavable signal peptide sequence to promote secretion of the encoded protein by the transfected cell. Exemplary signal peptides include the signal peptides from tissue plasminogen activator, insulin, and neuron growth factor, and juvenile hormone esterase of Heliothis virescens. Additional elements of the cassette may include enhancers and, if genomic DNA is used as the structural gene, introns with functional splice donor and acceptor sites.

In addition to a promoter sequence, the expression cassette may also contain a transcription termination region downstream of the structural gene to provide for efficient termination. The termination region may be obtained from the same gene as the promoter sequence or may be obtained from different genes.

In exemplary embodiments, any of the vectors suitable for expression in eukaryotic or prokaryotic cells known in the art may be used. Exemplary bacterial expression vectors include plasmids such as pBR322-based plasmids, pSKF, pET23D, and fusion expression systems such as GST and LacZ. Examples of mammalian expression vectors include, e.g., pCDM8 (Seed, 1987, Nature, 329:840) and pMT2PC (Kaufinan et al., 1987, EMBO J, 6:187-195). Commercially available mammalian expression vectors which can be suitable for recombinant 5-HT2 expression include, for example, pMAMneo (Clontech), pcDNA3 (Invitrogen), pCiNeo (Promega), pMC1neo (Stratagene), pXT1 (Stratagene), pSG5 (Stratagene), EBO-pSV2-neo (ATCC 37593) pBPV-1 (8-2) (ATCC 37110), pdBPV-MMTneo (342-12) (ATCC 37224), pRSVgpt (ATCC 37199), pRSVneo (ATCC 37198), pSV2-dhfr (ATCC 37146), pUCTag (ATCC 37460), and 1ZD35 (ATCC 37565).

In yet other exemplary embodiments, the recombinant mammalian expression vector is capable of directing expression of the nucleic acid preferentially in a particular cell type (e.g., tissue-specific regulatory elements are used to express the nucleic acid). Various tissue-specific regulatory elements are known in the art. Examples of suitable tissue-specific promoters include the albumin promoter (liver-specific; Pinkert et al., 1987, Genes Dev., 1:268-277), lymphoid-specific promoters (Calame et al., 1988, Adv. Immunol., 43:235-275), such as promoters of T cell receptors (Winoto et al., 1989, EMBO J, 8:729-733), and immunoglobulins (Baneji et al., 1983, Cell, 33:729-740; Queen et al., 1983, Cell, 33:741-748), neuron-specific promoters (e.g., the neurofilament promoter; Byme et al., 1989, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 86:5473-5477), pancreas-specific promoters (Edlund et al., 1985, Science, 230:912-916), and mammary gland-specific promoters (e.g., milk whey promoter; U.S. Pat. No. 4,873,316 and European Patent Publication No. 264,166). Developmentally regulated promoters also include, for example, the marine hox promoters (Kessel et al., 1990, Science, 249:374-379) and the beta-fetoprotein promoter (Campes et al., 1989, Genes Dev., 3:537-546).

Epitope tags can also be added to recombinant proteins to provide convenient methods of isolation, e.g., c-myc, hemoglutinin (HA)-tag, 6-His tag, maltose binding protein, VSV-G tag, or anti-FLAG tag, and others known in the art.

Expression vectors containing regulatory elements from eukaryotic viruses can be used in eukaryotic expression vectors, e.g., SV40 vectors, papilloma virus vectors, and vectors derived from Epstein-Barr virus. Other exemplary eukaryotic vectors include pMSG, pAV009/A+, pMTO10/A+, pMAMneo 5, baculovirus pDSVE, and any other vector allowing expression of proteins under the direction of the CMV promoter, SV40 early promoter, SV40 later promoter, metallothionein promoter, murine mammary tumor virus promoter, Rous sarcoma virus promoter, polyhedrin promoter, or other promoters shown effective for expression in eukaryotic cells.

In exemplary embodiments, the pCiNeo expression vector is employed to introduce the canine 5-HT2 receptor polynucleotides of the present invention into host cells and to express them in transformed or transfected cells.

Some expression systems have markers that provide gene amplification, such as neomycin, thymidine kinase, hygromycin B phosphotransferase, and dihydrofolate reductase. Alternatively, high yield expression systems not involving gene amplification are also suitable, such as using a baculovirus vector in insect cells, with a sequence encoding a canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptide under the direction of the polyhedrin promoter or other strong baculovirus promoters.

The elements that can be included in expression vectors also include a replicon that functions in E. coli, a gene encoding antibiotic resistance to permit selection of bacteria that harbor recombinant plasmids, and unique restriction sites in nonessential regions of the plasmid to allow insertion of eukaryotic sequences. The particular antibiotic resistance gene may be selected from the many resistance genes known in the art. The prokaryotic sequences may be chosen such that they do not interfere with the replication of the DNA in eukaryotic cells, if necessary or desired.

Known transfection methods may be used to produce bacterial, mammalian, yeast or insect cell lines that express large quantities of a canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptide, which are then purified using standard techniques (see, e.g., Colley et al., 1989, J. Biol. Chem. 264:17619-17622); “Guide to Protein Purification,” in Methods in Enzymology, vol. 182 (Deutscher, ed., 1990)). Transformation of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells may be performed according to standard techniques (see, e.g., Morrison, J. Bact, 1977, 132:349-351; Clark-Curtiss & Curtiss, Methods in Enzymology 101:347-362 (Wu et al., eds, 1983)).

Any of the known procedures suitable for introducing foreign nucleotide sequences into host cells may be used to introduce the expression vector. These include the use of reagents such as Superfect (Qiagen), liposomes, calcium phosphate transfection, polybrene, protoplast fusion, electroporation, microinjection, plasmid vectors, viral vectors, biolistic particle acceleration (the Gene Gun), or any other known methods for introducing cloned genomic DNA, cDNA, synthetic DNA or other foreign genetic material into a host cell (see, e.g., Sambrook et al., supra). The selected genetic engineering procedure should be capable of successfully introducing at least one gene into the host cell capable of expressing a canine 5-HT2 receptor RNA, mRNA, cDNA, or gene.

For stable transfection of mammalian cells, it will be apparent that, depending upon the expression vector and transfection technique used, only a small fraction of cells may integrate the foreign DNA into their genome. In order to identify and select these integrants, a gene that encodes a selectable marker (e.g., for resistance to antibiotics) may be introduced into the host cells along with the gene of interest. Exemplary selectable markers include those that confer resistance to drugs, such as G418, puromycin, Geneticin, hygromycin and methotrexate. Cells stably transfected with the introduced nucleic acid can be identified by drug selection (e.g., cells that have incorporated the selectable marker gene will survive, while the other cells will die).

A heterologous regulatory element can be inserted into a stable cell line or cloned microorganism, such that it is operatively linked with and activates expression of endogenous genes, using techniques such as targeted homologous recombination, e.g., as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,272,071 and WIPO Publication No. WO 91/06667.

After the expression vector is introduced into the cells, the transfected cells are cultured under conditions favoring expression of the canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptide, which is recovered from the culture using standard techniques identified below. Methods of culturing prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells are known and are taught, e.g., in Ausubel et al., Sambrook et al., and in Freshney, CULTURE OF ANIMAL CELLS, 3d ed., (1993), Wiley-Liss.

The isolated polypeptides of the present invention may be prepared by a variety of techniques. For example, canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptides may be isolated from canine tissue such as brain, spleen, placenta, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, prostate, testis, ovary, small intestine, colon, lymph node, and tonsils, or any other natural source of canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptides. Bodily fluids such as blood, blood plasma, serum, seminal fluid, urine, or any other mammalian bodily fluid can also serve as sources of natural canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptides. Cultured mammalian cell lines are still further exemplary sources of natural canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptides.

Alternatively, recombinant canine 5-HT2 polypeptides may be produced from any suitable bacterial or eukaryotic expression system, such as those described above. Such canine 5-HT2 proteins may be isolated by standard purification techniques, including selective precipitation with such substances as ammonium sulfate; column chromatography; and immunopurification methods (see, e.g., Scopes, PROTEIN PURIFICATION: PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE (1982); U.S. Pat. No. 4,673,641; Ausubel et al., supra; and Sambrook et al., supra).

A number of procedures may be employed when recombinant canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptides are being purified. For example, proteins having established molecular adhesion properties can be reversibly fused to the canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptide. With the appropriate ligand, a canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptide may be selectively adsorbed to a purification column and then freed from the column in a substantially pure form, and the fused protein removed by enzymatic activity. Canine 5-HT2 receptor proteins may also be purified using immunoaffinity columns.

Recombinant proteins may be expressed by transformed bacteria or eukaryotic cells in large amounts, preferably after promoter induction, but expression can be constitutive. Promoter induction with IPTG is one example of an inducible promoter system. Cells may be grown according to standard procedures in the art. Fresh or frozen cells may be used for isolation of protein.

Proteins expressed in bacteria may form insoluble aggregates (inclusion bodies). Several known protocols are suitable for isolation of canine 5-HT2 receptor inclusion bodies. For example, isolation may involve the extraction, separation and/or purification of inclusion bodies by disruption of bacterial cells, e.g., by incubation in a buffer of 50 mM TRIS/HCl pH 7.5, 50 mM NaCl, 5 mM MgCl2, 1 mM DTT, 0.1 mM ATP, and 1 mM PMSF. The cell suspension can be lysed using 2-3 passages through a French press, homogenized using a Polytron (Brinkman Instruments) or sonicated on ice. Alternate methods of lysing bacteria will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art (see, e.g., Sambrook et al., supra; Ausubel et al., supra).

If necessary or desired, the inclusion bodies may be solubilized, and the lysed cell suspension centrifuged to remove unwanted insoluble matter. Proteins that formed the inclusion bodies may be renatured by dilution or dialysis with a compatible buffer. Suitable solvents include urea (from about 4 M to about 8 M), formamide (at least about 80%, volume/volume basis), and guanidine hydrochloride (from about 4 M to about 8 M). Some solvents which are capable of solubilizing aggregate-forming proteins, for example SDS (sodium dodecyl sulfate) and 70% formic acid, may be undesirable for use in this procedure due to the possibility of irreversible denaturation of the proteins, accompanied by a lack of immunogenicity and/or activity. Although guanidine hydrochloride and similar agents are denaturants, this denaturation is not irreversible and renaturation may occur upon removal (by dialysis, for example) or dilution of the denaturant, allowing re-formation of biologically active protein. Other suitable buffers are known in the art. Canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptides may be separated from other bacterial proteins by standard separation techniques, e.g., with Ni-NTA agarose resin.

Alternatively, 5-HT2 receptor polypeptides may be purified from bacteria periplasm. After lysis of the bacteria, when a canine 5-HT2 receptor protein is exported into the periplasm of the bacteria, the periplasmic fraction of the bacteria can be isolated by cold osmotic shock or another method known in the art. To isolate recombinant proteins from the periplasm, the bacterial cells may be centrifuged to form a pellet. The pellet may be resuspended in a buffer containing 20% sucrose. To lyse the cells, the bacteria may be centrifuged and the pellet resuspended in ice-cold 5 mM MgSO4 and kept in an ice bath for approximately 10 minutes. The cell suspension may be centrifuged and the supernatant decanted and saved. The recombinant proteins present in the supernatant can be separated from the host proteins by standard separation techniques known in the art.

As an initial step, e.g., if a protein mixture is complex, an initial salt fractionation can be used to separate many of the unwanted host cell proteins (or proteins derived from the cell culture media) from the recombinant protein of interest. An exemplary salt is ammonium sulfate, which precipitates proteins by effectively reducing the amount of water in the protein mixture. Proteins then precipitate on the basis of their solubility. The more hydrophobic a protein is, the more likely it is to precipitate at lower ammonium sulfate concentrations. An exemplary isolation protocol includes adding saturated ammonium sulfate to a protein solution so that the resultant ammonium sulfate concentration is between 20-30%. This concentration will precipitate the most hydrophobic of proteins. The precipitate is then discarded (unless the protein of interest is hydrophobic) and ammonium sulfate is added to the supernatant to a concentration sufficient to precipitate the protein of interest. The precipitate is then solubilized in buffer and the excess salt removed to achieve the desired purity, e.g., through dialysis or diafiltration. Other known methods that rely on solubility of proteins, such as cold ethanol precipitation, can be used to fractionate complex protein mixtures.

In other examples, the molecular weight of a canine 5-HT2 receptor can be used to isolate it from proteins of greater and lesser size using ultrafiltration through membranes of different pore size (for example, Amicon or Millipore membranes). In an illustrative technique, the protein mixture is first ultrafiltered through a membrane with a pore size that has a lower molecular weight cut-off than the molecular weight of the protein of interest. The retentate of the ultrafiltration is then ultrafiltered against a membrane with a molecular cut-off greater than the molecular weight of the protein of interest. The recombinant protein will pass through the membrane into the filtrate. The filtrate can then be chromatographed.

Canine 5-HT2 receptor proteins can also be separated from other proteins on the basis of net surface charge, hydrophobicity, and affinity for heterologous molecules. In addition, antibodies raised against proteins can be conjugated to column matrices and the proteins immunopurified. It will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that chromatographic techniques can be performed at any suitable scale and using equipment from many different manufacturers (e.g., Pharmacia Biotech).

Another general aspect of the invention relates to a method of identifying compounds that modulate a biological activity of a 5-HT2 receptor in test biological samples. Such assay methods are therefore useful for screening compounds for modulation of 5-HT2A or 5-HT2B receptor activity.

“Modulators” include both inhibitors and activators. Inhibitors decrease, prevent, inactivate, desensitize or down-regulate a canine 5-HT2 receptor expression or activity. Activators increase, activate, facilitate, sensitize or up-regulate complex expression or activity.

Modulators of 5-HT2A or 5-HT2B receptor activity may be useful in treating subjects suffering from a disease, disorder, condition, or syndrome, mediated by aberrant 5-HT2A or 5-HT2B receptor activity, such as the following: behavioral, emotional, and cognitive syndromes and disorders, such as psychoses, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, aggressive behavior, impaired affect, sleep-wake cycle disorders, and eating disorders (see, e.g., Kantor et al., Br. J. Pharmacol., 2004, 142(8):1332-1342; Massou et al., 1997, Psychopharmacology (Berl), 133:99-101; Aubert et al., 2000, Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord., 24:920-924; Du, 2000, Am. J. Med. Genet., 96:56-60; Meltzer, 1999, Neuropsychopharmacology, 21:106 S-115S; Meyer et al., 1999, Psychopharmacology (Berl), 144:279-281; Roth et al., 1998, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 79:231-257; Schreiber et al., 1995, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 273:101-112; Schechter et al., 1988, Psychopharmacology (Berl) 94:342-346; and Sorensen et al., 1993, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 266:684-691); diseases, disorders, conditions, or syndromes associated with abnormal hormone production, secretion, or activity, e.g., abnormal ACTH, corticosterone, oxytocin, renin, and prolactin production, secretion, or activity, such as hypercortisolemia, hypocortisolemia, Cushing's syndrome, Addison's disease, congestive heart failure, renal failure, type 2 diabetes mellitus, lupus erythematosus, hypoprolacitnemia, hyperprolactinemia, and infertility (see, e.g., Van de Kar et al., 2001, J Neurosci, 21(10):3572-3579; Saydoff et al., 1991, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 257:95-99; Rittenhouse et al., 1994, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 271:1647-1655; Rittenhouse et al., 1991, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 259:58-651; Baluta et al., 2004, Rom. J. Intern. Med., 42(2):277-288; Jara et al., 2004, Lupus, 10(10):748-756; Gonzales et al., 1989, Arch. Androl., 23(3):259-265; and Ufearo et al., 1995, Clin. Pharmacol. Ther. 58(3):354-359); diseases, disorders, conditions or syndromes associated with abnormal smooth muscle contractility or relaxation, e.g., abnormal vascular contractility or relaxation, abnormal gastrointestinal tract contractility, abnormal capillary permeability, such as peripheral vascular disease, hypotension, hypertension, bronchoconstriction, chronic airway obstruction, asthma, and migraine; and diseases, disorders, conditions or syndromes associated with abnormal cardiovascular function, such as bradycardia and cardiac valvulopathy, myocardial infarction, and congestive heart failure (see, e.g., Cohen et al., 1981, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 218:421-425; Adner et al., 2002, Br. J. Pharmacol., 137(7):971-982; 2004; Owaga et al., 2004, Vascul. Pharmacol., 41(1):7-13; Boehme et al., 2004, J Immunol, 2004, 173(6):3599-3603; Schmuck et al., 1996, Eur. J. Neurosci., 8:959-967; de Chaffoy de Courcelles et al., 1985, J. Biol. Chem., 260:7603-7608; Cazzola et al., 1992, Immunopharmacology, 23:21-28; Fitzgerald et al., 1999, J. Neurochem., 72:2127-2134; Schmidt et al., 2004, Am. J. Cardiovasc. Drugs, 4(6):361-368; and Sethi et al., 2004, Mol. Cell. Biochem., 263(1-2):11-20). In a preferred embodiment, the 5-HT2 receptor activity is a 5-HT2A receptor activity. In another preferred embodiment, the 5-HT2 receptor activity is a 5-HT2B receptor activity.

“Modulators” include both inhibitors and activators. “Inhibitors” refer to compounds that decrease, prevent, inactivate, desensitize or down-regulate a canine 5-HT2 receptor expression or activity. “Activators” refer to compounds that increase, activate, facilitate, sensitize or up-regulate a canine 5-HT2 receptor expression or activity.

The compound assay or screening methods can be performed using laboratory formats or in assays adapted for high throughput. High-throughput assays or screens (HTS) allow easy screening of multiple samples simultaneously or single samples rapidly, and can include the capacity for robotic manipulation. High-throughput assays may be designed or optimized to reduce reagent usage or minimize the number of manipulations in order to achieve the analysis desired. Examples of assay formats include 96-well or 384-well plates, levitating droplets, microassays and lab-on-a-chip formats or microchannel chips used for liquid-handling experiments. Of course, as miniaturization of plastic molds and liquid-handling devices are advanced, or as improved assay devices are designed, greater numbers of compounds may be screened more efficiently using an assay in accordance with the invention.

Candidate compounds for screening can be selected from numerous chemical classes, preferably from classes of organic compounds. Although candidate compounds can be macromolecules, preferably the candidate compounds are small-molecule organic compounds, i.e., those having a molecular weight of greater from 50 to 2500. Candidate compounds may be selected to possess one or more functional chemical groups suspected to have structural interaction with polypeptides. Exemplary candidate compounds have at least an amine, carbonyl, hydroxyl or carboxyl group, preferably at least two such functional groups, and more preferably at least three such functional groups. The candidate compounds can comprise cyclic carbon or heterocyclic structural moieties and/or aromatic or polyaromatic structural moieties substituted with one or more of the above-exemplified functional groups. Candidate compounds also can be biomolecules such as peptides, saccharides, fatty acids, sterols, isoprenoids, purines, pyrimidines, derivatives or structural analogs of the above, or combinations thereof and the like. Where the compound is a nucleic acid, the compound may be a DNA or RNA molecule, although modified nucleic acids having non-natural bonds or subunits are also contemplated.

Candidate compounds may be obtained from a variety of sources, including libraries of synthetic or natural compounds. For example, numerous means are available for random or directed synthesis of a variety of organic compounds and biomolecules, including expression of randomized oligonucleotides, synthetic organic combinatorial libraries, phage display libraries of random peptides, and the like. Candidate compounds can also be obtained using any of the numerous approaches in combinatorial library methods known in the art, including: biological libraries; spatially addressable parallel solid-phase or solution-phase libraries; synthetic library methods requiring deconvolution; a one-bead-one-compound library method; and synthetic library methods using affinity chromatography selection (see, e.g., Lam, 1997, Anti-Cancer Drug Des. 12:145). Alternatively, libraries of natural compounds in the form of bacterial, fungal, plant and animal extracts are available or may be routinely produced. Additionally, natural and synthetically produced libraries and compounds can be routinely modified through conventional chemical, physical, and biochemical means.

Furthermore, known pharmacological agents can be subjected to directed or random chemical modifications, such as acylation, alkylation, esterification, and amidification, to produce structural analogs of the agents. Candidate compounds may be selected randomly or can be based on existing compounds that bind to and/or modulate the function or activity of a human 5-HT2 receptor family member. Therefore, a source of candidate agents is known or screened libraries of molecules including activators or inhibitors of human 5-HT2 receptors. The structures of such compounds may be changed at one or more positions of the molecule to contain more or fewer chemical moieties or different chemical moieties. The structural changes made to the molecules in creating the libraries of analog activators/inhibitors can be directed, random, or a combination of both directed and random substitutions and/or additions.

A variety of other reagents also can be included in the assay mixture. These include reagents such as salts, buffers, neutral proteins (e.g., albumin), and detergents that can be used to facilitate optimal protein-protein and/or protein-nucleic acid binding. Such a reagent can also reduce non-specific or background interactions of the reaction components. Other reagents that improve the efficiency of the assay, such as nuclease inhibitors, antimicrobial agents, and the like, can also be used.

Examples of methods for the synthesis of molecular libraries can be found in the art, for example in Zuckermann et al., 1994, J. Med. Chem., 37:2678-2685. Libraries of compounds can be presented in solution (e.g., Houghten (1992), Biotechniques, 13:412-421), or on beads (Lam 1991, Nature, 354:82-84), chips (Fodor 1993, Nature, 364:555-556), bacteria (U.S. Pat. No. 5,223,409), spores (U.S. Pat. No. 5,571,698), plasmids (Cull et al. 1992, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 9:1865-1869) or phage (see e.g., Scott and Smith 1990, Science, 249:386-390).

In one illustrative embodiment, the inventive assay provides a whole cell method to detect compound modulation of a canine 5-HT2 receptor, comprising: (a) contacting a compound and a cell that contains biologically active canine 5-HT2 receptor material; and (b) measuring a change in the cell in response to modified receptor function by the compound. The amount of time for cellular contact with the compound may be empirically determined, for example, by running a time course with a reference 5-HT2 receptor modulator and measuring cellular changes as a function of time. In a preferred embodiment, the canine 5-HT2 receptor material is canine 5-HT2A receptor material. In another preferred embodiment, the canine 5-HT2 receptor material is canine 5-HT2B receptor material.

The measurement may be conducted by comparing a cell that has been exposed to a compound to an identical cell that has not been similarly exposed to the compound or, alternatively, to a cell that has been exposed to a reference compound (e.g., a known 5-HT2 modulator). Alternatively two cells, one containing the biologically active 5-HT2 receptor and a second cell identical to the first but lacking such receptor could be both be contacted with the same compound and compared for differences between the two cells. This technique is also useful in establishing the background noise of these assays. Artisans will appreciate that these control mechanisms also allow easy selection of cellular changes that are responsive to modulation of the receptor.

The cellular changes suitable for the method of the present invention comprise directly measuring changes in the activity, function or quantity of canine 5-HT2 receptor protein, or by measuring downstream effects of the receptor function, for example by measuring secondary messenger concentrations or changes in transcription or by changes in protein levels of genes that are transcriptionally influenced by the receptor, or by measuring phenotypic changes in the cell. Preferred measurement means include measurement of changes in the quantity of canine 5-HT2 protein, changes in the functional activity of the receptor, changes in the quantity of mRNA, changes in intracellular protein, changes in cell surface protein or secreted protein, or changes in Ca2+, cAMP or GTP concentration. Changes in the levels of mRNA may be detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or by differential gene expression. Immunoaffinity, ligand affinity, or enzymatic measurement quantitates 5-HT2 modulator-induced changes in levels of specific proteins in host cells. Where the protein is an enzyme, the induction of protein may be monitored by cleavage of a fluorogenic or colorimetric substrate.

Preferred detection means for cell surface protein include flow cytometry or statistical cell imaging. In both techniques the protein of interest is localized at the cell surface, labeled with a specific fluorescent probe, and detected via the degree of cellular fluorescence. In flow cytometry, the cells are analyzed in a solution, whereas in cellular imaging techniques, a field of cells is compared for relative fluorescence.

The present invention is also directed to methods for screening for compounds that modulate the expression of DNA or RNA encoding a canine 5-HT2 receptor as well as the function of the receptor protein in vivo. Compounds may modulate by increasing or attenuating the expression of DNA or RNA encoding the receptor, or the function of the receptor protein. Compounds that modulate the expression of DNA or RNA encoding the receptor or the function of the receptor protein may be detected by a variety of assays. The assay may be a simple “yes/no” assay to determine whether there is a change in expression or function. The assay may be made quantitatively by comparing the expression or function of a test sample with the levels of expression or function in a standard sample.

In another embodiment, the invention relates to a method of identifying a compound that increases or decreases a biological activity of a canine 5-HT2 receptor, comprising the steps of: (a) contacting (i) a test sample comprising a compound with (ii) an assay reagent comprising a biologically active canine 5-HT2 receptor polypeptide or a functional variant thereof and a 5-HT2 receptor ligand; (b) determining the biological activity of the receptor after performing step (a); and (c) comparing the biological activity determined in step (b) with a control measurement obtained by contacting a control sample not containing the compound with the assay reagent. In a preferred embodiment, the canine 5-HT2 receptor is a 5-HT2A receptor. In another preferred embodiment, the canine 5-HT2 receptor is a 5-HT2B receptor.

A “ligand” or a “ligand component” refers to a chemical compound, which may be a peptidic moiety, that binds to, or complexes with, a canine 5-HT2 receptor or variant thereof. Exemplary ligands include ketanserin, DOI, SCH-23390, ritanserin, risperidone, MDL-100907, eplivanserin, methiothepin, olanzapine, mesulergine, 5-hydroxytryptamine, m-CPP, α-Me-5-hydroxytryptamine, BW-723C86, RU-24969, TFMPP, 5-CT, SB-204741, and yohimbine, and labeled forms thereof. Preferred ligands are high-affinity ligands, e.g., a ligand or ligand component that has a binding affinity constant, pKI (negative log of KI), for 5-HT2 receptor that is 6.5 or higher.

In a preferred embodiment, the assay reagent in the method is associated with a cell expressing a canine 5-HT2 receptor on the cell surface. The cell is at least one cell or a plurality of cells appropriate for the sensitivity of the detection method. Cells suitable for the present invention may be bacterial, but are preferably eukaryotic, such as yeast, insect, or mammalian. The cell can be a natural host cell for an endogenous canine 5-HT2 receptor, preferably a recombinant host cell for a canine 5-HT2 receptor, which expresses a high amount of a canine 5-HT2 receptor on the cell surface.

In another preferred embodiment, the biological activity of the canine 5-HT2 receptor or functional variant thereof can be measured by a second messenger response of the cell. For example, the biological activity of the complex can be measured by the signal transduction event triggered by activated canine 5-HT2 receptor activation. This signal transduction event can be measured indirectly by means of measuring one or more changes in cellular physiology, such as cell morphology, migration, or chemotaxis, using one or more suitable methods known in the art. It can also be measured directly by measuring phosphorylation of proteins involved in the signal transduction pathway, for example, the phosphorylation of a GTP-binding protein (G protein). Methods are known in the art for measuring protein phosphorylation, for example, by using an ATP or GTP molecule that has been radiolabeled on the γ-phosphate.

A “second messenger response of a cell” refers to cellular response of the cell mediated through activation of the receptor upon binding to, or complexing with, a ligand. It may include, e.g., signal transduction event or a change in intracellular concentration of a second messenger molecule, such as proton (pH), calcium, or cAMP.

The biological activity of a canine 5-HT2 receptor material or variant can also be measured by the intracellular concentration of a second messenger molecule using any of a number of suitable techniques known in the art. For example, the pH change can be measured using a pH-sensitive dye, such as Acridine Orange. The calcium concentration can be measured via optical imaging of fluorescent indicators sensitive to Ca2+, such as fluo-3 (pentapotassium salt, cell-impermeant form; Molecular Probes) or fluo-3(AM) (an acetoxymethyl ester form of fluo-3; Teflabs) (see, for example, Liu et al., 2001, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 299: 121-30) using a fluorometric imaging plate reader (FLIPR) or a confocal microscope. The cAMP concentration can be detected using a commercially available ELISA kit (FLASHPLATE cyclic AMP assay system (125I, Cat. No: SMP001A, NEN; see also Shimomura et al., 2002, J. Biol. Chem., 277: 35826-32), or via a reporter system wherein the expression of a reporter gene, such as beta-galactosidase, is under the control of a cAMP responsive element (cre) (Montminy et al., 1990, Trends Neurosci., 13(5):184-8).

The test compound may be further characterized by comparing its effect on two cells, the first cell containing a biologically active canine 5-HT2 receptor or functional variant thereof and the second one identical to the first, but lacking the active 5-HT2 or functional variant. This technique is also useful in establishing the background noise of these assays. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that this control mechanism also allows ready selection of cellular changes that are responsive to modulation of the canine 5-HT2 receptor. Therefore, in a preferred embodiment, the screening method comprises the steps of: (a) contacting a first cell having a canine 5-HT2A receptor or a canine 5-HT2B receptor expressed on the cell surface with a 5-HT2 receptor ligand and with a test compound; (b) determining a second messenger response in the first cell to the test compound, and comparing it with that of a control wherein the first cell is only contacted with a 5-HT2 receptor ligand but not the test compound; (c) contacting a second cell with the 5-HT2 receptor ligand and with a test compound, wherein the second cell is otherwise identical to the first cell except that it either does not express a canine 5-HT2A or does not express a canine 5-HT2B receptor on the cell surface; (d) determining a second messenger response of the second cell to the test compound, and comparing the second messenger response with that of a control wherein the second cell is only contacted with the 5-HT2 receptor ligand but not the test compound; and (e) comparing the comparison result of (b) with that of (d).

There are a number of ways to obtain two cells that are otherwise identical except that one cell expresses either a canine 5-HT2 receptor on its cell surface and the other cell does not. In one embodiment, the first cell is a recombinant host cell for a canine 5-HT2 receptor that constitutively expresses the canine 5-HT2 receptor on its cell surface, and the second cell is the parent cell from which such recombinant host cell is constructed. In another embodiment, a recombinant host cell for the canine 5-HT2 receptor is constructed such that its expression on the cell surface is under the control of an inducible promoter. The first cell is the recombinant cell grown under inducible conditions that allow the expression of a canine 5-HT2 receptor on the cell surface, and the second cell is the recombinant cell grown under non-inducible conditions that do not allow the expression of the canine 5-HT2 receptor. In yet another embodiment, the first cell is a native host cell for at least one canine 5-HT2 receptor that expresses the polypeptide on its cell surface, and the second cell is a mutant cell derived from the native host, wherein the at least one canine 5-HT2 receptor gene has been inactivated through mutagenesis. Standard molecular biology methods can be used to construct a recombinant host cell for a canine 5-HT2 receptor, or to inactivate a canine 5-HT2 receptor gene.

In another embodiment, the present invention provides a method of identifying a compound that increases or decreases the activity of a receptor/ligand complex, comprising the steps of: (a) contacting an isolated membrane preparation comprising a 5-HT2 receptor with a ligand or an active fragment thereof with a test compound, and with a GTP molecule that has been labeled on the γ-phosphate; (b) determining the amount of labeling bound to the membrane preparation; and (c) comparing the amount of labeling in (b) with that of a control wherein the membrane preparation is only contacted with the ligand or the active fragment thereof and the labeled GTP but not the test compound.

A variety of labels can be used to label the GTP molecule on the γ-phosphate, such as a fluorescent molecule or a radioactive isotope, such as 35S, 32P, and the like.

In yet another embodiment, the present invention provides a method of identifying a compound that binds to a 5-HT2 receptor, comprising the steps of: (a) contacting a biologically active canine 5-HT2 receptor or variant thereof with a test compound, and with a labeled ligand or an active fragment thereof; (b) measuring the amount of the labeled ligand or the fragment thereof that binds to the receptor; and (c) comparing the measured amount of (b) with that of a control, wherein the receptor is only contacted with a labeled ligand or the fragment thereof, but not the test compound. The amount of the labeled ligand or fragment thereof that binds to the receptor can be measured by first separating the unbound labeled ligand or fragment from the receptor, and then measuring the amount of labeling that is associated with the receptor.

Separation of the receptor protein from unbound labeled ligand or fragments thereof can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Conveniently, the 5-HT2 material may be immobilized on a solid substrate, from which the unbound ligand can be easily separated. The solid substrate can be made of a variety of materials and in a variety of shapes, e.g., microtiter plate, microbead, dipstick, and resin particle. The substrate preferably is chosen to maximize signal-to-noise ratio, primarily to minimize background binding, as well as for ease of separation and cost. Separation can be effected by, for example, removing a bead or dipstick from a reservoir, emptying or diluting a reservoir such as a microtiter plate well, or rinsing a bead, particle, chromatographic column or filter with a wash solution or solvent. The separation step preferably includes multiple rinses or washes. For example, when the solid substrate is a microtiter plate, the wells can be washed several times with a washing solution, e.g., that includes those components of the incubation mixture that do not participate in specific bindings, such as salts, buffer, detergent, non-specific protein, etc. Where the solid substrate is a magnetic bead, the beads can be washed one or more times with a washing solution and isolated using a magnet.

The canine 5-HT2 receptor material may be immobilized on a solid substrate using a number of methods. In one embodiment, a fusion protein can be provided which adds a domain that allows the canine 5-HT2 protein to be bound to a matrix. For example, a glutathione-S-transferase fusion protein can be adsorbed onto glutathione sepharose beads (Sigma Chemical, St. Louis, Mo.) or glutathione derivatized microtiter plates, which are then combined with the test compound and the labeled ligand, and the mixture incubated under conditions conducive to complex formation (e.g., at physiological conditions for salt and pH). Following incubation, the beads or microtiter plate wells are washed to remove any unbound components and complex formation is measured either directly or indirectly, for example, as described above. Alternatively, the complexes can be dissociated from the matrix, and the level of binding or the labeled ligand to 5-HT2 material can be determined using standard techniques.

Other techniques for immobilizing proteins on matrices can also be used in the screening assays of the invention. For example, the canine 5-HT2 material can be immobilized utilizing conjugation of biotin and streptavidin. Biotinylated polypeptide can be prepared from biotin-NHS (N-hydroxy-succinimide) using techniques known in the art (e.g., biotinylation kit available from Pierce Chemicals, Rockford, Ill.), and immobilized in the wells of streptavidin-coated 96-well plates (Pierce Chemicals). Alternatively, antibodies reactive with the 5-HT2 material but which do not interfere with binding of it to the ligand or test compound can be attached to the wells of the plate, and 5-HT2 material can then be trapped in the wells by antibody conjugation.

A variety of labels can be used to label the ligand or fragments thereof, such as those that provide direct detection (e.g., radioactivity, luminescence, optical or electron density) or indirect detection (e.g., epitope tag such as the FLAG epitope, or enzyme tag such as horseradish peroxidase).

Other embodiments, features, and advantages of the invention will become apparent by reference to the following illustrative examples.

EXAMPLES

As described in the examples below, both the canine 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptors have now been cloned. The canine and human 5-HT2A receptors share 93% amino acid homology. The canine and human 5-HT2B receptors are also highly conserved (87% homology), with the exception of the carboxyl termini, where the canine protein is 60 amino acids shorter. Pharmacological comparisons of recombinant canine and human 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptors using radioligand binding and FLIPR based Ca2+ assays showed no major differences in affinity or functionality between the human and canine receptor subtypes for the 19 serotoninergic ligands investigated.

Example 1 Cloning of Canine 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B Receptor cDNA

A 500 bp sequence of dog 5-HT2A DNA was identified from NCBI GenBank (Genbank Accession No. Y16134) using human 5-HT2A sequence (GenBank accession number AF498982) as the query. The resulting dog 5-HT2A sequence was used to design primers for cloning of the full length cDNA using the rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) method using dog brain cDNA as the template, which was synthesized using a RACE cDNA kit from BD Biosciences (Palo alto, Calif.). A dog 5-HT2A gene specific primer, SEQ ID NO.:1 (5′-TCT AGC GAG ATG GCG CAC AGG TGC ATG ATG-3′), was used for the 5′ end RACE. A dog 5-HT2A gene specific primer, SEQ ID NO.:2 (5′-CCA CCT TGT GTG TGA GTG ATC CTG GCA CAC-3′), was used for the 3′ end RACE. The resulting cDNA was sequenced to obtain the complete coding region for dog 5-HT2A. Two primers (forward primer, SEQ ID NO.:3: 5′-ACT AGA CTC GAG GCC ACC ATG GAT GTC CTC TTT GAG GAT AAT GCT-3′, and reverse primer, SEQ ID NO.:4: 5′-ACT AGA GCG GCC GCT CAC ACA CAG CTA ACC TTT TCA TTC ACT GT-3′) were used to amplify the full length dog 5-HT2A cDNA from dog brain cDNA. The resulting 5-HT2A full length cDNA was cloned into the pCIneo vector (Promega, Madison, Wis.) and the insert region sequenced to confirm the sequence identity (accession number AY832858). The results showed that the dog 5-HT2A cDNA encodes 470 amino acids, which is one amino acid less than human 5-HT2A. Amino acid sequence comparison between the dog and human 5-HT2A receptors showed that they share about 93% homology (FIG. 1).

A dog 5-HT2B gene sequence was identified from the dog genome sequence (Genbank Accession No. AAEX01019724) using the human 5-HT2B DNA sequence (GenBank accession number AY136751) as the query. Two primers (forward primer, SEQ ID NO.:5: 5′-AGT AGA GAA TTC GCC ACC ATG GCC ATC TCT TAT AGA ATA TCA GAA C-3′ and reverse primer, SEQ ID NO.:6: 5′-ACT AGA GCG GCC GCA TTA GGT GAA TAC CTC TAT TCC TTC TA-3′) were then designed according to the dog 5-HT2B genomic sequence to amplify the dog 5-HT2B cDNA using dog brain cDNA as the template. The resulting DNA was cloned into pCIneo vector and the insert region was sequenced to confirm the sequence identity. The sequencing results indicated that the dog 5-HT2B cDNA (accession number AY832859) bears 87% homology to the human 5-HT2B. While the human 5-HT2B has 481 amino acids, the dog 5-HT2B gene only encodes 435 amino acids, missing the C-terminal tail corresponding to the last 60 amino acids of the human 5-HT2B (FIG. 2). Using the RACE technique, the canine 5-HT2B cDNA sequence was further investigated using tissue from two additional dogs from different sources; the same sequence was identified.

Example 2 Ligand Binding Profile of Recombinant Canine 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B Receptors

In order to investigate the ligand binding profiles of the canine 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptors, saturation binding studies and Scatchard analysis as well as ligand displacement studies were performed using isolated membranes from COS-7 cells that were transfected with canine 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptors.

The following compounds were used in the canine 5-HT2A receptor and canine 5-HT2B receptor ligand binding studies and ligand displacement studies described below: [3H]-ketanserin (76.5 Ci/mmol), obtained from PerkinElmer Life Science (Boston, Mass.); [3H]-mesulergine (97 Ci/mmol), obtained from Amersham Bioscience (UK); risperidone (U.S. Pat. No. 4,804,663), ritanserin (WO 94/27991), ketanserin (U.S. Pat. No. 4,335,127), olanzapine (WO 96/30374), eplivanserin (WO 2002053140 and Rinaldi-Carmona et al., 1992, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther, 262(2):759-768), and MDL-100907 (WO 91/18602 and Sorensen et al., 1993, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 266(2):684-691), synthesized in-house; SB-204741 (N-(1-methyl-5-in-dolyl)-N′-(3-methyl-5-isothiazolyl) urea), 5-HT (5-hydroxytryptamine), 5-CT (5-carboxyamidotryptamine), α-Me-5-HT (2-methyl-5-hydroxytryptamine), mesulergine, yohimbine, and methiothepin, obtained from Sigma RBI (St Louis, Mich.); and BW-723C86 (1-{5-(2-thienyl-methoxy)-1H-3-indolyl}propan-2-amine), m-CPP (1-(3-chlorophenyl)piperazine, DOI (1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane), RU-24969 (5-methoxy-3(1,2,3,6-tetrahydro-4-pyridiny)-1H-indole), SCH-23390 (R-(+)-7-chloro-8-hydroxy-3-methyl-1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro(1H)-3-benzapine), and TFMPP (N-(3-trifluoromethyl-henyl)piperazine), obtained from Tocris Cookson (Bristol, UK).

COS-7 cells were grown in Dulbecco's Modified Eagle's Medium (DMEM, Invitrogen, Carlsbad, Calif.) with 10% fetal bovine serum and transfected with either the canine 5-HT2A or the 5-HT2B receptor cDNA plasmid using Fugeneg (Roche, Indianapolis) as directed by the manufacturer. Two days after transfection with the vectors described above, the COS-7 cells were detached with phosphate buffered saline plus 5 mM EDTA and centrifuged at 1000 rpm for 5 min. The pellets were stored at −80° C. Membranes were homogenized in 50 mM Tris, 1 mM EDTA and centrifuged at 20,000×g for 25 min. The resulting pellet was resuspended in 50 mM Tris, 0.5 mM EDTA, 5 mM MgCl2, pH 7.4 (Roth et al., 2000) and aliquotted into 96-well plates (Greiner Bio-One, Frickenhausen, Germany). Nonspecific binding of the radioligands was estimated in the presence of 1 μM risperidone for both 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B. For ligand concentration binding isotherms, 10-12 concentrations of the radioligand ([3H]5-HT) in a range of 0.1 nM to 20 nM were used. Experiments were repeated independently at least three times. Human 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptors were evaluated for comparison. NIH 3T3 cells stably expressing the recombinant human 5-HT2A receptor were grown in DMEM with 10% fetal bovine serum, 1% penicillin-streptomycin and 600 μg/ml G418. CHO cells stably expressing the recombinant human 5-HT2B receptor were grown in DMEM/F-12 nutrient mixture supplemented with 10% FBS, 1% penicillin-streptomycin and 400 ug/ml G418.

Incubations of the membranes with the radioligands were each run for 60 min at room temperature in a volume of 200 μl and then harvested by filtration through GF/B filters (Packard, Meriden, Conn.) pretreated with 0.3% polyethylenimine. The filters were washed five times with ice-cold buffer and dried in a 50° C. oven. A 35 μl quantity of Microscint 0 (Packard) was added to each well, and the plates were then counted on Packard TopCount. Ligand concentration binding isotherms and sigmoidal inhibition curves were generated and fitted using nonlinear regression analysis using GraphPad Prism software (San Diego, Calif.). The Bmax and apparent KD values of the radioligands and pIC50 of the inhibitor were free parameters for the curve fitting. Apparent KI values were calculated as KI=IC50/(1+C/KD), where C is concentration of the radioligand. Data were expressed as mean±S.E.M. Final protein content was assayed according to the method described in the BCA protein assay kit (Pierre).

The saturation binding and Scatchard analyses of the data obtained, shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B, demonstrate that membranes obtained from COS-7 cells transiently transfected with the canine 5-HT2A (FIG. 3A) or canine 5-HT2B (FIG. 3B) showed a single population of high affinity binding sites for [3H]5-HT. The KD and Bmax values are given in Table 1 below. Values for the human 5-HT2A and human 5-HT2B receptors are also given for comparison in Table 1 and were found to be within a similar range to the values obtained for the canine receptors.

TABLE 1
Apparent equilibrium dissociation constant (KD) and maximum number of
binding sites (Bmax) values measured with [3H]-5-HT for binding
to canine (c) and human (h) 5-HT2A or 5-HT2B receptors
(in recombinant cell membranes derived from the indicated cell lines).
Values are mean ± S.E.M. (n = 3 to 6)
Species:
canine human canine human
Receptor subtype:
5-HT2A 5-HT2A 5-HT2B 5-HT2B
Cell line:
COS-7 NIH3T3 COS-7 CHO
KD (nM)   3 ± 0.60 1.75 ± 0.17  3.90 ± 0.82  2.67 ± 0.54
Bmax (pmol/mg 13.5 ± 4.50 25.5 ± 4.58 30.75 ± 4.05 36.67 ± 7.12
protein)

For competition binding studies, COS-7 cells were cultured, transfected with either canine 5-HT2A or 5-HT2B receptor-encoding expression vectors, and membranes obtained as described above. Nineteen serotonergic compounds (nine putative agonists and ten putative antagonists) were assayed for their ability to displace [3H]-ketanserin nM (canine 5-HT2A, KD=1.3±0.12 nM) or 4 nM [3H]-mesulergine (canine 5-HT2B, KD=5.43±0.69 nM) from the membranes obtained from the transfected COS-7 cells. The compounds that were tested were added at seven different concentrations ranging from 0.01 nM to 10 μM. Similar competition binding experiments were performed in parallel using membranes obtained from NIH3T3 or CHO cells expressing human 5-HT2A or human 5-HT2B receptors, respectively. The affinity constants (pKI) derived from these experiments are provided in Table 2 below:

TABLE 2
Affinity constants (pKI) of serotonergic ligands for inhibition of [3H]-
ketanserin or [3H]-mesulergine binding to membranes derived from COS-7, CHO or
NIH3T3 cells expressing recombinant canine (c) or human (h) 5-HT2A or 5-HT2B
receptors. PKI values are the mean ± S.E.M of 3-8 independent experiments.
Receptor:
c5-HT2A h5-HT2A c5-HT2B h5-HT2B
Cell line:
COS-7 NIH3T3 COS-7 CHO Ratio Ratio
Radioligand: c5-HT2A vs. c5-HT2B vs.
[3H]-ketanserin [3H]-mesulergine [3H]-ketanserin [3H]-mesulergine h5-HT2A h5-HT2B
Agonists
5-HT 6.75 ± 0.11 6.96 ± 0.06 8.52 ± 0.08 8.35 ± 0.06 1.63 0.67
DOI 7.92 ± 0.12 8.29 ± 0.12 7.88 ± 0.15 7.82 ± 0.08 2.37 0.87
m-CPP 6.71 ± 0.01 7.06 ± 0.07 7.68 ± 0.05 7.54 ± 0.07 2.23 0.73
SCH-23390 7.79 ± 0.14 7.87 ± 0.12 6.51 ± 0.12 6.56 ± 0.04 1.21 1.12
α-Me-5-HT 6.76 ± 0.28 7.12 ± 0.11 8.54 ± 0.09 8.50 ± 0.09 2.31 0.91
BW-723C86 6.20 ± 0.19 6.41 ± 0.20 7.58 ± 0.06 8.11 ± 0.06 1.60 3.36
TFMPP 6.67 ± 0.12 7.06 ± 0.11 7.38 ± 0.09 7.40 ± 0.05 2.45 1.04
RU-24969 5.90 ± 0.14 6.00 ± 0.14 7.89 ± 0.41 7.61 ± 0.07 1.26 0.53
5-CT 5.64 ± 0.07 5.94 ± 0.04 7.13 ± 0.07 7.21 ± 0.08 1.99 1.20
Antagonists
Ritanserin 8.12 ± 0.06 8.49 ± 0.06 8.40 ± 0.01 8.34 ± 0.07 2.33 0.87
Risperidone 8.50 ± 0.13 9.04 ± 0.16 7.35 ± 0.24 7.59 ± 0.05 3.54 1.73
MDL- 8.76 ± 0.06 9.12 ± 0.01 5.90 ± 0.05 5.96 ± 0.05 2.32 1.16
100907
Eplivanserin 9.00 ± 0.16 9.70 ± 0.08 5.72 ± 0.04 5.85 ± 0.06 4.99 1.36
SB-204741 <5 <5 6.74 ± 0.08 6.92 ± 0.01 1.00 1.50
Mesulergine 7.04 ± 0.14 7.64 ± 0.14 7.77 ± 0.15 8.06 ± 0.06 4.01 1.92
Yohimbine 5.01 ± 0.01 5.58 ± 0.01 7.09 ± 0.12 7.18 ± 0.07 3.68 1.25
Methiothepin 8.45 ± 0.17 8.98 ± 0.08 8.12 ± 0.16 8.38 ± 0.03 3.42 1.82
Ketanserin 7.84 ± 0.09 8.54 ± 0.16 6.20 ± 0.14 6.38 ± 0.14 4.95 1.51
Olanzapine 7.97 ± 0.15 8.49 ± 0.19 7.46 ± 0.10 7.97 ± 0.11 3.30 3.24

In FIGS. 4A-4D, the pK1 values of the 19 serotonergic compounds obtained with membranes from the cloned canine 5-HT2A or canine 5-HT2B receptors are plotted against pKI values obtained with the same compounds using membranes from cells expressing the cloned human 5-HT2A or human 5-HT2B receptors. The affinity constants at the canine 5-HT2A receptor showed high correlation with those at the human 5-HT2A receptor (FIG. 4A). Similarly, affinity constants at the canine 5-HT2B receptor showed high correlation with those at the human 5-HT2B receptor (FIG. 4B). In contrast, the correlation at the canine 5-HT2A with canine 5-HT2B receptor was much weaker (FIG. 4C). Similarly low correlation was obtained between the human 5-HT2A and human 5-HT2B (FIG. 4D). Compounds known to display significant selectivity for human 5-HT2A receptor versus human 5-HT2B receptor (risperidone, MDL100907, eplivanserin, ketanserin) were found to display a similar selectivity profile on the canine receptor subtypes (Table 2). Similarly, compounds known to display significant selectivity for human 5-HT21 receptor versus human 5-HT2A receptor (α-Me-5-HT, BW-723C86, SB-2014741, yohimbine) were found to display a similar selectivity profile on the canine receptor subtypes (Table 2).

Example 3 Functional Characterization of Recombinant Canine 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B Receptors

To investigate the in vitro functional properties of the canine 5-HT2A and canine 5-HT2B receptors, the Fluorometric Imaging Plate Reader (FLIPR) was used, which integrates drug addition and Ca2+ fluorescence measurements, allowing rapid detection of Ca2+ following receptor activation. Human 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptors were also included in this study for comparison.

HEK-293 cells were cultured in DMEM with 10% fetal bovine serum, 1% penicillin-streptomycin, 10 mM HEPES, and sodium pyruvate in 10 cm tissue culture dishes. Canine 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B cDNAs were transiently transfected into HEK-293 cells using Lipofectamine (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, Calif.) as directed by the manufacturer. Forty-eight hours after transfection, the cells were detached with phosphate-buffered saline plus 10 mM EDTA, washed with cold serum free DMEM/F-12 and dye-loaded with 4 μM Fluo-3AM in serum-free DMEM/F-12 with 2.5 mM probenecid. Dye-loaded cells were plated onto 96-well ViewPlates (Packard, Meriden, Conn.) and incubated at 37° C. and 5% CO2 for one hour. Once dye-loaded, dye media was replaced with serum-free DMEM/F-12. For antagonist potency determinations, cells were pre-incubated with compounds (diluted in DMEM/F-12) for 10 minutes before agonist stimulation. Ligand-induced Ca2+ release was measured using a Fluorometric Imaging Plate Reader (FLIPR, Molecular Devices, Sunnyvale, Calif.). Functional responses were measured as peak fluorescence intensity minus basal. The concentration of agonist that produced a half-maximal response is represented by the EC50 value. Relative efficacy values are the corresponding fraction of the response elicited by the compounds compared to 10 μM 5-HT. Antagonistic potency values were converted to apparent pKB values using a modified Cheng-Prusoff correction. Apparent pKB=−log IC50/1+[conc agonist/EC50]. Data are expressed as mean±S.E.M.

5-HT stimulated a Ca2+ response in cells transfected with canine 5-HT2A (HEK-293), human 5-HT2A (NIH3T3), canine 5-HT2B (HEK-293) or human 5-HT2B (CHO) (FIGS. 5A and 5B). No signal to 5-HT was obtained from non-transfected HEK-293, CHO or NIH3T3 cells that underwent an identical assay protocol. NIH3T3 and CHO have been previously shown to express both 5-HT2A and 5-HT1B receptors (Giles et al., 1996, Br J Pharmacol, 117 (6):1119-1126; Saucier and Albert, 1997, J Neurochem, 68(5):1998-2011). However, the expression level of endogenous receptors in these cell lines is sufficiently low so as not to interfere with the study of recombinant receptors whose expression levels are generally significantly higher. Higher fluorescence intensities were observed for both canine and human 5-HT2A compared to the canine and human 5-HT2B receptors. A slightly higher fluorescence intensity peak was observed for the human 5-HT2A receptor compared to the canine 5-HT2A (15800 vs. 13600 peak fluorescence intensity units; FIG. 5A). A weaker response was observed for the canine 5-HT2B receptor (peak fluorescence intensity=3500 units) compared to the human 5-HT2B receptor (peak fluorescence intensity=5000 units; FIG. 5B). Saturation binding analysis using [3H]5-HT was performed on membranes prepared from HEK-293 cells transfected with the canine 5-HT2B and demonstrated that the expression level (Bmax approximately 1 pmol/mg protein) was lower compared to the expression level obtained in membranes prepared from CHO cells expressing human 5-HT2B (Bmax approximately 36 fmol/mg protein). To further address the difference in peak fluorescence intensity between the human and canine 5-HT2B receptor, the 5-HT stimulated Ca2+ response experiment was repeated but using the same cell line background (HEK-293) for both human and canine 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptors (canine 5-HT2A, Bmax approximately 0.7 pmol/mg protein; human 5-HT2A, Bmax approximately 0.9 pmol/mg protein; canine 5-HT2B, Bmax approximately 1 pmol/mg protein; human 5-HT2B, Bmax approximately 0.8 pmol/mg protein). A significantly higher fluorescence intensity peak after 5-HT stimulation was observed for the human 5-HT2B receptor compared to the canine 5-HT2B receptor, whereas the human 5-HT2A and canine 5-HT2A receptors were within the same range.

The activities of various other 5-HT2 receptor agonists exhibiting a range of potencies and relative efficacies are summarized in Table 3 below. The affinities of the antagonists are summarized in Table 4 below. The rank order of potency and antagonist affinities were consistent with the established pharmacology.

TABLE 3
Agonist potency and relative efficacy at cloned canine (c)
and human (h) 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptors.
Receptor:
c5-HT2A h5-HT2A c5-HT2B h5-HT2B
Cell Line:
HEK-293 NIH3T3 HEK-293 CHO
Compound pIC50 Rel. eff. pIC50 Rel. eff. pIC50 Rel. eff. pIC50 Rel. eff
5-HT 7.70 ± 0.46 1 7.38 ± 0.46 1 8.36 ± 0.19 1 8.73 ± 0.23 1
DOI 8.98 ± 0.09 0.89 ± 0.02 8.48 ± 0.09 0.65 ± 0.04 8.10 ± 0.20 0.75 ± 0.03 8.75 ± 0.19 0.96 ± 0.02
m-CPP 7.57 ± 0.11 0.71 ± 0.04 6.70 ± 0.05 0.20 ± 0.02 IA 8.35 ± 0.15 0.55 ± 0.06
SCH- 6.68 ± 0.10 0.61 ± 0.03 7.58 ± 0.22 0.17 ± 0.02 5.88 ± 0.87 0.37 ± 0.05 7.10 ± 0.16 0.66 ± 0.05
23390
α-Me-5- 8.20 ± 0.60 1.06 ± 0.05 7.58 ± 0.13 0.91 ± 0.02 8.80 ± 0.36 0.77 ± 0.01 8.75 ± 0.17 0.84 ± 0.01
HT
BW- 7.48 ± 0.13 0.89 ± 0.03 6.60 ± 0.07 0.56 ± 0.03 8.14 ± 0.14 0.93 ± 0.03 9.03 ± 0.06 0.98 ± 0.01
723C86
TFMPP 7.37 ± 0.13 0.72 ± 0.04 6.63 ± 0.28 0.17 ± 0.01 IA 7.90 ± 0.21 0.49 ± 0.04
5-CT 7.70 ± 0.13 0.94 ± 0.08 6.80 ± 0.09 0.70 ± 0.13 8.00 ± 0.15 1.19 ± 0.05 8.85 ± 0.18 0.95 ± 0.01
pEC50 values are the mean ± S.E.M of 3 to 6 independent experiments.
Relative efficacy (Rel. eff.) values are the corresponding fraction of the response elicited by the compounds compared to the response elicited by 10 μM 5-HT.
ND: not determined;
IA: inactive.

TABLE 4
Antagonist affinities (pKB) at cloned canine and human 5-HT2A and
5-HT2B receptors. Data are the mean ± S.E.M of 3 to 6 experiments.
Receptor:
c5-HT2A h5-HT2A c5-HT2B h5-HT2B
Cell Line:
Compound HEK-293 NIH3T3 HEK-293 CHO
Ritanserin 8.15 ± 0.19 7.98 ± 0.22 8.00 ± 0.41 8.23 ± 0.22
Risperidone 9.68 ± 0.11 9.13 ± 0.22 8.40 ± 0.97 7.25 ± 0.14
MDL-100907 9.38 ± 0.06 8.88 ± 0.03 <5 <5
Eplivanserin 9.60 ± 0.49 9.43 ± 0.03 <5 <5
SB-204741 <5 <5 7.35 ± 0.45 7.35 ± 0.76
Mesulergine 7.60 ± 0.10 7.23 ± 0.13 9.30 ± 0.45 8.63 ± 0.07
Yohimbine <5 <5 8.80 ± 0.43 7.35 ± 0.45
Methiothepin 8.33 ± 0.09 7.30 ± 0.10 8.07 ± 0.77 8.28 ± 0.03
Ketanserin 8.90 ± 0.13 8.53 ± 0.48 5.80 ± 0.40 <5
Olanzapine 7.27 ± 0.15 6.93 ± 0.03 6.60 ± 0.13 7.43 ± 0.19

For the canine 5-HT2A receptor, several compounds were found to display higher potencies compared to their potencies for the human 5-HT2A (e.g., mCPP, SCH-23390, TFMPP, BW-723C86 and 5-CT). Similarly, most of these compounds had higher relative efficacies on the canine 5-HT2A receptor compared to the human 5-HT2A receptor. In general, all the antagonists had similar affinities for the human and canine 5-HT2A receptors except methiothepin, which displayed an eleven-fold higher affinity for the canine 5-HT2A receptor compared to the human 5-HT2A receptor. For the 5-HT2B receptor, several agonists were found to display lower potencies on the canine 5-HT2B receptor compared to the human 5-HT2B receptor. These compounds had lower relative efficacies on the canine 5-HT2B receptor compared to the human 5-HT2B receptor. For mCPP and TFMPP, no agonistic response was observed on canine 5-HT2B receptor.

None of the compounds (10 μM) tested elicited a response in non-transfected cells (HEK-293, NIH3T3 or CHO). In addition, none of the antagonists tested increased Ca2+ in any of the transfected cell types.

Example 4 Analysis of Tissue Distribution of Canine 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B Receptor mRNA Expression

Total RNA from different dog tissues (Beagle, Bioreclamation Inc., Hicksville, N.Y.) was isolated using Trizol (Invitrogen), and treated with DNAse (Epicentre Technologies, Madison) to remove genomic DNA. cDNA was synthesized from 3 μg of total RNA of each tissue using SuperScript III RT (Invitrogen) with 100 ng oligo dT18-21 (Amersham Biosciences, United Kingdom). The reaction was incubated at 50° C. for 30 minutes, then heat-inactivated at 80° C. for three minutes and chilled on ice. The cDNA was diluted 30-fold and 2 μl of each sample was analyzed by quantitative PCR using the SmartCycler (Cepheid, Sunnyvale, Calif.) in quadruplicates. The PCR mix consisted of 0.2× Sybr Green I (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, Calif.), 10 mM Tris-HCl pH 8.8, 50 mM KCl, 1 unit TaqStart Antibody (Becton Dickinson, Palo Alto, Calif.), 3 units of AmpliTaq DNA polymerase, 200 mM Trehalose (Sigma) and 200 μM dNTPs (Amersham). PCR primers were from GenBase (San Diego, Calif.). Standard curves were generated for each gene by dilution of linearized plasmids containing an insert for the gene of interest (canine 5-HT2A forward primer (SEQ ID NO.:11): TGGATCGGTTACCTCTCCTC; canine 5-HT2A reverse primer (SEQ ID NO.:12): GGCCGGTATAGTGTTCACTA; canine 5-HT2B forward primer (SEQ ID NO.:13): ACAGTGGGCAGCTCTTCTGA; canine 5-HT2B reverse primer (SEQ ID NO.:14): CCAACTAGCAGATCAGCCAC), or of PCR products generated by a primer pair straddling the primer pair used for quantitation (B-Actin). PCR cycle parameters were the following: initial hold at 95° C. for 90 sec, 40 cycles of 95° C. for 5 sec, 62° C.-70° C. (depending on primer pair) for 7 sec, and 72° C. for 15 sec. At the end a melt curve analysis was performed.

The quantitative expression profiles of canine 5-HT2A and canine 5-HT2B receptors are shown in FIG. 6. The canine 5-HT2A receptor was detected mainly in brain and at much lower levels in peripheral tissues, whereas the canine 5-HT2B receptor was detected mainly in lungs and smooth muscles and at lower level in brain.

The following order of expression levels was observed for canine 5-HT2A receptor mRNA: brain>>kidney>spleen>testis>stomach>smooth muscle>colon>lungs>heart. The following order of expression levels was observed for canine 5-HT2B receptor mRNA: lungs>smooth muscle>heart>brain>colon>kidney>testis>stomach>spleen.

Patent Citations
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US5360735Jan 8, 1992Nov 1, 1994Synaptic Pharmaceutical CorporationDNA encoding a human 5-HT1F receptor, vectors, and host cells
US5661024 *Nov 30, 1994Aug 26, 1997Synaptic Pharmaceutical CorporationDNA encoding a human serotonic (5-HT2) receptor and uses thereof
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Classifications
U.S. Classification530/350
International ClassificationC07K14/705
Cooperative ClassificationC07K14/70571
European ClassificationC07K14/705K
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